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Warren man facing over 70 sex charges said he was ‘helping’ victims, prosecutors say

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A man from Warren is facing 73 charges -- 33 of those being rape charges -- in connection to the sexual assault of three relatives

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County prosecutors say a man accused of repeatedly raping three teen victims claimed he was “helping” them.

Despite all of the cases prosecutors see, some stand out from the rest.

“This one, really, it’s offensive,” Atty. Jennifer McLaughlin said.

Dustin Ruiter, 44, appeared in court Wednesday morning. Last week, he was secretly indicted on 33 counts of sexual battery, 33 counts of rape, six counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of attempted rape.

“They represent three young females that are all close relatives of his,” McLaughlin said.

Prosecutors say Ruiter assaulted the victims at a home in Youngstown over six or seven months.

“The victims actually confided in one another that this was occurring, and so they decided that they needed to tell somebody and so they did,” McLaughlin said.

One of the victims had a rape kit performed that contained Ruiter’s DNA. She also gave prosecutors detailed accounts of what she said Ruiter did.

“He prefaced this, that he was helping them. That there were medical needs that he was attending to by molesting them,” McLaughlin said.

Although the victims were all in their mid-teens at the time, Ruiter cannot face a life sentence on any one of the rape counts.

If he is convicted, he may never get out of prison.

“Because the counts are so numerous and the conduct was so frequent, whatever sentence he receives could be tantamount to a life sentence and hopefully will be,” McLaughlin said.

For now, Ruiter is being held without bond. His trial is set for January.

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